i keep killing sea hares

Discussion in 'Invertebrates' started by beano, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. beano

    beano habitual reefer

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    OK so i have a big hair algae problem..which i am thinking about starting another thread for that problem...but this one is about how i keep killing sea hares.

    the first one was a month ago, he didnt make it 24 hours. i thought maybe i didnt acclimate long enough or m aybe he was on his way out anyways... but also my parameters were not exactly prefect at the time.

    this week i get another one. when i put him in he went straight to eating. he took a nap and then ate some more. next day before i go to work he is chowing down. but when i come home from work he is dead. am i killing these? i dont know why they both died really quickly. is there something special about sea hares that i dont know about? i know my pH is on the low side, but everybody else in my tank is happy...clown, blenny goby, inverts, lps and softies.

    SG- 1.025
    pH- 8.1
    temp 79-81
    nitrate- 0


    both times i added the hair i added either inverts or corals at the same time and they are all doing fine. the LFS did say that this latest hair was really hungry...could they have both just been on their way out already?
     
    beano, Aug 19, 2009
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  2. beano

    Rcpilot

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    I wish I could help. I'll be keeping an eye on this thread.

    Mine died in about 3 or 4 days. I acclimated for about 4hrs. I always do slow acclimation with anything that goes into my tank........ weather it be corals, fish, snails, crabs..... anything. Mine went to eating right away. Within 20 minutes it had made it's way over to a clump of hair algae and was sucking it down like a vacuum cleaner. Next morning it was lying on the sand bed. I poked at it with a finger and it moved around the tank for a day or so. Then I found it all split open with it's guts hanging out of it's back.

    I wonder if they are so starved for food when they come home from the LFS that they get put into our tank full of algae and then they eat too much and clog up their stomach? Death by over-eating? :shock: Just a theory.
     
    Rcpilot, Aug 19, 2009
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  3. beano

    beano habitual reefer

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    yikes, i hope mine was dead...it was just all curled up and hard..and not moving.

    please dont tell me i flushed two sleeping sea hairs!
     
    beano, Aug 20, 2009
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  4. beano

    winyfrog Yep!

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    Sea hares are very sensitive to acclimation, if they are not acclimated properly at the LFS and then you purchase them and acclimate them they can die within a few days. Ask your LFS how they acclimate them.

    They also require tons of variety of algaes a small tank is not the best environment for them.

    They are nocturnal as well and will sleep usually under the sand but sometimes above if they die they will usually start to melt apart. (keep in mind as well they are toxic and can release these toxins like a sea cucumber)
     
    winyfrog, Aug 20, 2009
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  5. beano

    AdeptMrSniffles I have a Blue Thumb

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    I kept one for about 3 months. Then sadly the same thing happened to mine as to RC's, back split open and hermits having a feast.

    Unfortunately I can't tell you why it died. However, mine didn't necessarily eat hair algae. I'd place him near some but he'd just stop at i for a second then move on. He cleaned my sand bed of algae though. I don't think they're meant for just hair algae. I'm assuming they need an assortment, like winy said. I wish I could've been more help because I enjoyed my little sea hare, "Dirt Bag".

    If your battling hair algae the best thing to do is pick out as much by hand and do water changes. Also, try to clean out anywhere in your LR that sand might have settled.
     
    AdeptMrSniffles, Aug 20, 2009
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  6. beano

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    +1 Winy and Sniffles
    Sea hares are touchy.But they will work algae over,as long as theres a couple of different types of algae for it to eat.
    Mines used to eat hair,bryopsis,and cyano.I named him pig cause he was always eattin algae.
     
    yote, Aug 20, 2009
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  7. beano

    Rcpilot

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    I purchased my sea hare in an attempt to get the algae under control in the 10g frag tank. Some of you may remember the pictures. :ugh:

    Well, the sea hare died, so I decided to do the old lights out, black out trick. I kept my lights out for about 3 weeks all together. I did turn them on about 3hrs a day AFTER the first 2 weeks of total black out. I watched the algae literally disappear. I did water changes every other day. I ran carbon on the tank 24/7. After 3 weeks of this, the algae is 98% gone.

    I did turn my lights back on, but I haver cut the light down to only about 6hrs a day. There's 78w of PC lighting on a 10g tank. Thats pretty bright, so 6hrs should be plenty for the corals.

    I'm still running carbon in a small Rapids Mini-Canister and changing it every 3 days. I've cut back on water changes to twice weekly. I change 2.5g on Sunday and Thursday. The algae is sorta under control, but I'm still not happy. It's not growing back, but I still have some turf algae that refuses to go away. I may do a black out again in a few weeks, but for now the corals need light to recover from the last black out.

    Sorry to go off topic. Just wanted to mention how I managed to get rid of most of the hair algae in the tank. If you can get a sea hare to eat it, more power to ya. The blackout has been a lot of work.
     
    Rcpilot, Aug 20, 2009
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  8. beano

    beano habitual reefer

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    thanks rc.

    corals are ok with a blackout?

    what about keeping actinics on, I bet algae eat that, so a total blackout?

    when the algae dies doest it just diintehrate or do I need to keep hand picking?
     
    beano, Aug 20, 2009
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  9. beano

    Smitty

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    Just my :twocents:, but when I had a bad case of bryopsis, I bought a sea hare, which he did take care of most of it, but he too died...while doing research, I read that there are several types of algae and bryopsis that are somewhat poisonous to the sea hares...so maybe, the hares got hold of some of that bad weed:shock:
     
    Smitty, Aug 20, 2009
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  10. beano

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    Think about corals in the ocean.They dont get full sunlight 365 days outta the year.There'll be times that they may go a couple week with cloudy and over cast days.So a few days with no light probably wont hurt thim.

    And yeah,you'll need to manually remove as much of the algae as possible.When it dies,it releases all those nutrients right back into the water.
     
    yote, Aug 20, 2009
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  11. beano

    Rcpilot

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    The reason for the blackout is to kill the algae.

    But what happens when you kill the algae? It basically dissolves and turns into nutrients in the water. Algae is alive. It's organic. We are organic. Your dog is organic. Dead algae turns into DISSOLVED ORGANIC COMPOUNDS (DOC) in your water. Rotten and uneaten food also turns into DOC. Dead fish are dissolved organic compounds.

    So you MUST do frequent water changes to remove those DOC from the water. By frequent, I mean a couple times a week. Not once a week and not once a month. You need to do water changes to get the DOC out of the water.

    If you do a blackout and then blow off doing the water changes, you have accomplished NOTHING. All you've done is added nutrients back to the water. You've starved the algae for light and caused it to dissolve. Now it's DOC in the water. Sure, the rocks and corals look clean now, but the water is loaded up with dissolved organics from the dead algae. As soon as you turn the lights back on, the remaining algae in the tank will come back like a plague because you never removed the other algae (DOC). All you did was kill it off the rocks, but you never removed the DOC from the water. So as soon as the lights come back on, it's like a feast for any algae that wasn't dead.

    I'm still working on my 10g frag tank. It's about 95% better than it was, but I still have some of that damn turf algae in a few spots. That stuff is tough to kill. At least I got rid of the hair algae.

    Today is water change day in the frag tank. Gotta clean the canister and replace the carbon too. I'm probably wasting carbon by dumping it every 3 days, but I don't care. It's working.
     
    Rcpilot, Aug 20, 2009
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  12. beano

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    You know, I've had two seahares, Jessica and Jessica II, and had long-term success with both of them. They do seem to be more sensitive than other inverts when it comes to acclimation, and I would never try to keep one in a small tank as they run out of food very quickly.
     
    Bifferwine, Aug 21, 2009
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  13. beano

    KidJ57 Struggling Reef Addict

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    I may get crucified for this, but when I got my sea hare, i floated the bag in the tank for like 20 minutes to even out the tempreture, then picked him up by hand and put him on my LR in a algae section; he went to town eating right away and lasted about a month or so. I'm pretty sure mine, Bob the Blob, ate himself to death because I added some Chaeto to my DT to supplement his food, plus my Tang and Wrasse loved the thing; but one day he attached himself to the Chaeto bush, stayed there for hours, then when came home from some errands, I found him shriveled up and dead. :sad:
     
    KidJ57, Aug 21, 2009
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  14. beano

    Rcpilot

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    You basically ruined his kidneys. It takes anywhere from a few days to a few weeks before they are poisoned internally from kidney failure.

    Invertebrates like this are EXTREMELY sensitive to changes in salinity. The BEST thing to do would be to acclimate them for 6 or 8hrs, but most hobbyists don't want to do that.

    They are essentially 99.99% water. Their heart, kidneys, digestive system etc .. all internal "organs" are very sensitive to rapid changes in salinty. By acclimating in 20 minutes or even just a couple hours, we put their entire organ system through a tremendous amount of stress. It's not the ph, it's not the alkalinity. It's the salinity and even a microscopic change is hard on them. What may seam trivial to us - i.e. taking them from the store with SG of 1.02403 to our tank with a SG of 1.02412 -- is REALLY REALLY stressful to their organs.

    It would be like training your lungs and blood to adapt to a 15% methane environment in 50yrs. You could probably do it, but it would kill you because the change was too fast. Your lungs and blood might be able to process the methane, but it would have other deadly effects on your kidneys, liver, pancreas etc... Adapting a human body to process 15% methane would really take 100,000 yrs or more.

    Hope that puts it into perspective. This is why I always try and do at least a 4hr acclimation on all inverts, corals, fish. Even 4hrs isn't enough.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2009
    Rcpilot, Aug 21, 2009
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  15. beano

    dcantucson

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    I hear you on the acclimation, Rc. My biggest problem in acclimating my new live stock is getting the temperature just right. The acclimation bucket is sitting on the floor and becomes the room temperature during the process. The drip isn't quick enough to raise the new livestock to the tank temperature.

    Other than a heater, any suggestions?
     
    dcantucson, Aug 21, 2009
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  16. beano

    winyfrog Yep!

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    a few suggestions, keep your animal in its bag and clip it to the side of your tank or sump acclimate it this way with your drip, that will keep your water temp the same.

    After you have acclimated you can put your animal back in the bag and temerature acclimate.

    The heater is probably be the easiest way.
     
    winyfrog, Aug 21, 2009
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  17. beano

    dcantucson

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    Thanks winy
     
    dcantucson, Aug 21, 2009
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  18. beano

    KidJ57 Struggling Reef Addict

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    It's not that I don't WANT to do it; to me, it's, "What's the difference" it's not like I'm standing there the whole time waiting. I was simply told, by the owner at my LFS, "When you've evolved to live off of :pooh:, you tend to be pretty hearty"...and that I should just "drop him in" when I got home.
     
    KidJ57, Aug 21, 2009
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  19. beano

    winyfrog Yep!

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    your LFS is apparently incorrect that they live off :pooh: they are herbivours. that makes me sad that your LFS is that inconsiterate of a life. :grumble:

    sorry I just had to vent, not caring for a life ........ :shock:
     
    winyfrog, Aug 21, 2009
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  20. beano

    KidJ57 Struggling Reef Addict

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    ...it's kind of why I stopped buying livestock from those guys; I still get my water from them and/or equipment, but I've got another LFS I go to for my livestock now.
     
    KidJ57, Aug 21, 2009
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